Adhering to its motto of “Work Smarter, Better, Faster,” the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) conducted its annual Distribution Solutions Conference (DSC) October 16-19, 2016, at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa FL. The event’s powerhouse agenda was designed to support total development of distribution operations people.
Opening day on Sunday October 16 was devoted to attendee registration and orientation, followed by an evening reception for distributors.
The following morning kicked off with the Women in Foodservice’s Power Breakfast, as well as a breakfast for other DSC participants. Concurrent workshops starting that day included “Managing Your Leadership Brand in Operations,” “Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot! Four Steps to Calm, Confident Decisions,” “Using Continuous Improvement Methods in the Warehouse,” and “Labor Update and the Latest Activity by the National Labor Relations Board.”
After those sessions came the concurrent ones “Warehouse Idea Exchange,” “Increasing Driver Retention,” “Preventing Damages: Best Practices and Next Practices,” and “How to Keep Employees from Becoming Patients.”
Shane Snow, author of Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators and Icons Accelerate Success, spoke at a special session called “Smartcuts: The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking.”
That afternoon saw three expo special sessions: “The Future of Foodservice Distribution Automation,” “Ways to Drive Costs Out of Your Transportation Business,” and “New EPA Trailer Efficiency Standards.”
Tuesday’s events began with a presentation entitled “The Promise of Leadership,” conducted by Alex Sheen, the founder of “because i said i would.” This was followed by two expo sessions: “Coaching Drivers and Preventing Accidents in the World of Technology” and “10 Keys to Fleet Maintenance Success.”
Next came the keynote address by Joe Thiesmann, former NFL quarterback for the Washington Redskins and a Super Bowl champion. He outlined for participants his “Game Plan for Success.”
A host of concurrent workshop sessions ensued. These were “Operations Leadership Program Session: Operations Idea Exchange,” “Transportation Idea Exchange,” “The Journey from Slotting Strategy to Execution,” “Taking Control of Your Inbound Freight Program,” and “Delivering Quality Produce A-Z.” Concurrent offerings coming next included “Operations Leadership Program Session: Team Building with Colorblind,” “Little Fixes for Big ROI,” “New Employee Onboarding,” “Incentive-Based Pay Roundtable,” and “Regulatory Update: Food Safety Modernization Act and the Sanitary Food Transportation Act.”
Guitar virtuoso Mike Raymond spoke late Tuesday afternoon on “What If?”, providing tools that took him from playing for seven people in a bar to headlining Carnegie Hall.
Wednesday wrapped up the DSC activities with a tour of Gordon Food Service’s facility in Plant City FL. ♦